Picturesque Britain on the festive silver screen

From quaint snow-covered cottages to regal central squares, Britain’s towns and villages have long enjoyed a starring role in festive hits on the silver screen. These charming locations all helped to inspire some of the best-loved festive films, serving up a joyful helping of spectacular landscapes to go with the Christmas turkey.





Shere, Surrey and Cornwell, Oxfordshire – The Holiday

Director Nancy Meyers’ hit festive flick The Holiday uses several striking locations to depict the quintessentially English country setting where stars Cameron Diaz and Jude Law find romance. The picturesque Surrey village of Shere provided one backdrop, with both the church and pub featuring prominently. And while the characterful Rosehill Cottage was only developed for filming, it was inspired by Honeysuckle Cottage in the small commuter village of Holmbury St Mary. Found in the heart of the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this region is characterised by its rolling hills and woodland trails, as well as its narrow winding lanes and honey-coloured cottages.

The romantic comedy also sees the pair settling down for a cosy lunch in the surroundings of Cornwell Manor, a luxurious private estate in the Cotswolds. Found a short distance from Chipping Norton, this region provides an idyllic setting for a winter escape.

Snowshill, Gloucestershire – Bridget Jones’ Diary

Although primarily set in London, Renee Zellweger’s first meeting with Mark Darcy – played by the inimitable Colin Firth – in Bridget Jones’ Diary is set against the glorious snow-dusted backdrop of the Cotswolds. The charismatic village of Snowshill, near Broadway, provided the setting for a party at her parent’s home, with the crew using fake snow as filming took place in the middle of summer! Packed with pretty stone cottages and with hills rising up on three sides, the region is known for its unspoilt beauty, whatever the season.

The lavish surroundings of Stoke Park in Buckinghamshire provided the backdrop for Hugh Grant’s character whisking Bridget away for a romantic weekend too. Just five miles from Windsor Castle, the five-star luxury spa and golf hotel features a wealth of leisure facilities and fine dining for a festive getaway, including the opportunity to enjoy afternoon tea in The Orangery.

London – Love Actually

Filmed all over London, Richard Curtis’ romantic British Christmas classic includes a number of iconic locations, alongside some of the capital’s lesser-known spots. Packed with glistening lights and yuletide cheer, look out for Trafalgar Square and the Millennium Bridge, as well as the Tate Modern, housed in the old Bankside Power Station, and the glistening skyscrapers of Canary Wharf. From Gabriel’s Wharf on the South Bank to outside 10 Downing Street, other notable locations include St Luke’s Mews in Notting Hill, where Andrew Lincoln’s character uses cue cards to profess his love, and the department store Selfridges, where the late Alan Rickman waits as Rowan Atkinson takes an age to wrap a necklace.

Shrewsbury – A Christmas Carol

The 1984 production of Charles Dickens’ classic tale, A Christmas Carol, saw the streets of Shrewsbury transformed into Victorian London. This traditional market town in the heart of Shropshire featured in the opening scenes, and you can still view the grave of Ebenezer Scrooge, played by George C Scott, at St Chad’s Church. His name was chiselled into a gravestone prop within the grounds of the distinctive Grade I-listed building that overlooks the Quarry, an area of parkland by the banks of the River Severn, and remains there to this day.

Source – Visit Britain

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